Inflammation of the brain kills neurons and causes disease such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.
Effective treatments have so far eluded scientists.
Now, medical researchers are discovering that the endocannabinoid system plays a key role in the development of neurological disorders.
Experimental research shows that cannabinoid receptors are increased in areas where lesions have formed in certain parts of the brain.
Cannabinoids are known to reduce inflammation, and chemicals derived from cannabis extracts have been emerging as promising agents in the treatment of these diseases.
For example, a paper published by the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society in 2015 says that clinical trials suggest “a possible benefit of cannabinoids for tics” associated with neurological disorders.
The authors, from the departments of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas call for more research to “better characterize the pharmacological, physiological, and therapeutic effects of this class of drugs in movement disorders.”
Scientific studies have also provided evidence that cannabinoids such as THC may help protect areas of the brain that are affected in patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s Disease and other movement disorders.
Other researchers found that the genetic mutation responsible for the most prevalent type of late-onset hereditary Parkinson’s disease responded to targeted application of cannabinoids.